Association of an apolipoprotein B gene marker with essential hypertension.
We designed an association (retrospective, case control) study aimed at evaluating associations between genetic variations of the human apolipoprotein B (apoB) gene and clinical diagnosis of essential hypertension. Our approach was to compare the distribution of the alleles of a highly polymorphic variable number of tandem repeats localized 3' to the human apoB gene, the apoB 3' hypervariable region (HVR), in a group of normotensive and a group of hypertensive individuals. We collected DNA samples from 437 unrelated nationals (215 normotensives and 222 hypertensives) from the United Arab Emirates (UAEs), and we determined their apoB 3' HVR allele and genotype status with a polymerase chain reaction-based assay. In the UAE population, we found 18 alleles underlying a total of 51 genotypes. The distribution of these alleles was significantly different between normotensive and hypertensive UAE nationals. The main peak of the distributions occurred at 35 repeats among hypertensives (with a relative frequency of 25.7% versus 19.6% in normotensives) and at 37 repeats among normotensives (28.8% versus 20.3% in hypertensives). Alleles with 21, 23, 25, 49, and 55 repeats were found in hypertensives only (with a combined relative frequency of 7.6%). We conclude that variations of the apoB gene, or of a nearby gene, that may be in linkage disequilibrium with these alleles play a role in the development of essential hypertension in the UAEs. (+info)
Factors associated with fatigue in a family medicine clinic in the United Arab Emirates.
BACKGROUND: Fatigue is a common symptom in Family Medicine and it has many associated factors. The Arabian Gulf provides a unique setting for studying these factors, in particular the UAE where rapid development has been a prominent feature. OBJECTIVES: The aim of the study was to sample a group of GP attenders and examine the factors which were associated with fatigue in the UAE. METHODS: A fatigue scale, psychological questionnaire, detailed history, physical examination and laboratory testing were administered to a sample of attenders at a Family Medicine clinic. RESULTS: Fatigue was more prevalent than in western studies (males 34.0%, females 38. 2%). It was strongly associated with anxiety, especially in younger adults, and it has been recognized that rapid social change is felt most acutely in young adults and adolescents. Depression in females was also a factor. Lack of exercise, obesity and illiteracy played a minor role in the severity of fatigue. CONCLUSIONS: Fatigue appears to be a cultural 'idiom of distress', a way of expressing anxiety or depression in a rapidly changing society. (+info)
A prospective comparative analysis of mobility in osteoarthritic knees.
We have sought to clarify whether the traditional Arabic lifestyle prevents restriction of movement in patients with degenerative arthritis of the knee. The range of movement of 68 osteoarthritic knees of Arabic patients was compared with that of 51 healthy knees of Muslim patients and 83 osteoarthritic knees in non-Arabic patients. The range of flexion of the osteoarthritic knees in the Arabic patients matched that of the healthy control knees, but was significantly better than that of the osteoarthritic knees in the non-Arabic patients. There was also a statistically significant difference between the mean extension deficit of the two groups with osteoarthritis. Exercises may help to prevent restriction of movement in osteoarthritis of the knee. (+info)
Use of existing data for public health planning: a study of the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen and core antibody in Al Ain Medical District, United Arab Emirates.
INTRODUCTION: Hepatitis B is of major public health importance. Accurate information on its occurrence, with particular reference to the prevalence of immunity and chronic infection (marked by the presence of hepatitis B core antibody and surface antigen, respectively, in serum), is essential for planning public health programmes for the control of the disease. The generation of marker prevalence data through serological surveys is costly and time-consuming. The present study in Al Ain Medical District, United Arab Emirates, investigated the possibility of obtaining sufficiently accurate marker prevalence estimates from existing data to plan public health programmes. METHODS: Two antenatal screening databases, one student serological survey database, one immunization programme database and one pre-marriage screening database containing information on marker prevalence were identified. Epidemiological data were abstracted from these databases and analysed. RESULTS: The data showed that the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen and the prevalence of core antibody in young citizens in 1998 were approximately 2% and 14% respectively, that any immunization campaign aimed at citizens of the United Arab Emirates should target teenagers as they had the highest risk of acquiring the disease, and that pre-immunization screening of young adults would be wasteful. However, the data did not yield information on the prevalence of hepatitis B surface antigen and core antibody in other population subgroups of public health significance. DISCUSSION: While data generated by the study are sufficient to support a hepatitis B immunization programme targeted at teenaged citizens, more accurate data, generated by a well-designed serological survey, would be essential for optimal public health planning. (+info)
Environmental factors and heatstroke.
The objective of this study was to determine the extent of the influence of temperature and humidity on the number of heatstroke presentations. Three hundred and forty-five labourers presented to the Accident and Emergency Hospital in Abu Dhabi with heatstroke during a 3 month summer period. There was no significant predictive association between the maximum daily temperature and/or humidity and the presentation of heatstroke. There was no significant association with the maximum temperature on the previous day, day of the week or temperature trend. The largest statistical correlation was between the maximum temperature and humidity and the log of the number of cases. It is possible that there are other significant explanatory variables that we have not included in the model. (+info)
Identification, by homozygosity mapping, of a novel locus for autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis on chromosome 17p, and evidence for further genetic heterogeneity.
Autosomal recessive congenital ichthyosis (ARCI) comprises a group of severe disorders of keratinization, characterized by variable erythema and skin scaling. It is known for its high degree of genetic and clinical heterogeneity. Mutations in the gene for keratinocyte transglutaminase (TGM1) on chromosome 14q11 were shown in patients with ARCI, and a second locus was described, on chromosome 2q, in families from northern Africa. Three other loci for ARCI, on chromosomes 3p and 19p, were identified recently. We have embarked on a whole-genome scan for further loci for ARCI in four families from Germany, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. A novel ARCI locus was identified on chromosome 17p, between the markers at D17S938 and D17S1856, with a maximum LOD score of 3.38, at maximum recombination fraction 0.00, at D17S945, under heterogeneity. This locus is linked to the disease in the Turkish family and in the German family. Extensive genealogical studies revealed that the parents of the German patients with ARCI were eighth cousins. By homozygosity mapping, the localization of the gene could then be refined to the 8.4-cM interval between D17S938 and D17S1879. It could be shown, however, that ARCI in the two Arab families is linked neither to the new locus on chromosome 17p nor to one of the five loci known previously. Our findings give evidence of further genetic heterogeneity that is not linked to distinctive phenotypes. (+info)
Absence of clonality of Campylobacter jejuni in serotypes other than HS:19 associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome and gastroenteritis.
Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) is recognized as a complication that occurs after Campylobacter infection. Certain Penner serotypes, such as HS:19, are linked particularly to GBS in some parts of the world, and there is good evidence for restricted genetic diversity in these isolates. However, GBS also occurs after Campylobacter infection due to other serotypes. Therefore, we asked whether Campylobacter jejuni non-HS:19 serotypes associated with GBS have a clonal structure and differ from strains isolated from patients with Campylobacter gastroenteritis. A worldwide selected population of C. jejuni non-HS:19 strains associated with GBS and gastroenteritis was analyzed by use of multilocus enzyme electrophoresis, automated ribotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, and flagellin gene typing. The results show that these isolates represent a heterogenic population and do not constitute a unique population across serotypes. No epidemiologic marker for GBS-associated strains was identified. (+info)
Dust exposure and impairment of lung function at a small iron foundry in a rapidly developing country.
OBJECTIVES: A cross sectional prospective study was carried out among iron foundry workers (exposed) and soft drink bottling and supply company workers (unexposed) to assess their occupational exposure to ambient respiratory dust in their work environment and its effect on their lung function profile. PARTICIPANTS: Lung function was measured in 81 exposed and 113 unexposed workers. Personal respirable dust concentrations were measured for all the exposed and the unexposed workers. Information on respiratory signs and symptoms was also collected from the participants. RESULTS: Among the exposed workers, midexpiratory flow (FEF25-75), forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1), peak expiratory flow (PEF), FEV1/FVC, and FEV1/VC ratios were significantly lower whereas the vital capacity (VC) and forced vital capacity (FVC) were non-significantly higher. Job at the iron foundry was a significant predictor of lung function. Exposure to high concentration of respirable dust at the iron foundry was also a significant predictor. Workers working in high exposure areas (general works, furnace, continuous casting areas, and fabrication workshop) had lower lung function values than workers in medium and low exposure areas. Smoking did not enhance the effects of exposure to dust on lung function. CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to respirable dust was higher among the iron foundry workers; and among these, general, furnace, rolling mill, and fabrication workers had higher exposures to dust than did workers in continuous casting, the mechanical workshop, and the bottling plant. Job type and exposure to dust were significant predictors of lung function. Implementation of industrial hygiene and proper and efficient use of personal protection equipment while at work could help to protect the respiratory health of industrial workers. (+info)